North Point 
Alliance Church 
English Ministry

Rev. Stera Chan
Pastor Lawrence Choy
+852 2807 5200

2/F Phase 2, Maximall
233 Electric Road
North Point, Hong Kong

The Power of Gratitude

By Rev. Catherine Law

May 5, 2024

       The exceptionally long greetings in Romans 16 reveal a valuable characteristic of Paul’s spiritual life: Being thankful always. This chapter gives the impression that Paul was very familiar with the church in Rome and that they had a close relationship. In reality, Paul never visited the Roman church. What he knew about the church probably came from its members. These people included his coworkers Priscilla and Aquila (v.3), Urbanus (v.9), and Andronicus and Junia (v.7) who had been in prison with him. Paul not only remembered their names but also what they went through. Why did Paul attach so much importance to what he heard about? The phrases “In Christ” and “In the Lord” appear many times in this chapter, underlining Paul’s care for church and gospel work. Paul’s care makes him listen attentively. It makes him consider himself as part of the Roman church, serving side by side in Christ with brothers and sisters and experiencing the great power and grace of God together.

       A grateful heart can be a real blessing to others! It has been said: “A grateful heart can offer a new lens for life.” [1]

       In dealing with life, we often find life demanding, difficult, exhausting. And however much our capacity and wisdom may be, we are bound to struggle within our limitations and inadequacies. This is not to mention the competition and antagonism we have to face, as well as the losses and damages from errors and unfairness. We can easily lose our enthusiasm and motivation in life, feeling that life is just an arduous, endless loop. That may further make us lose sight of our hopes and aspirations and see that there are only duties, giving, exhaustion, disappointments and uncertainties in life.

       Nevertheless, a grateful heart can serve as an effective buffer in life. It can ease away the negative fog over the burden of life and let people see the goodness behind the toil, the value of one’s endeavors, and the rewards from all the hard work. All of this is reason and motivation for hope, and we will no longer cast doubt on life. A grateful heart also lets us see that we are not alone – that there is God and other people who remember us and walk with us. There is still warmth in callousness. The world is not all absurd and twisted. Truth still prevails.

       Gratefulness is a characteristic of the church. The most direct way to see the grace of God is to observe His works. We need to learn to open our eyes and ears, take good care of our spiritual lives, pay attention to the growth of brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as the development of the church and the advancement of the Kingdom of God. When we pay more attention, we will discover the works and grace of God. We will always be grateful. So, if we feel weary and burdened in our ministries, when we have grievances, the most important thing will be to remember the grace of God. I pray that God will let you see His works so that you will give thanks for the church and for yourself. In doing so, your strength will be renewed.